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Hi Scott,

Have a look at Maha’s short description of the Egyptian medical profession (Jan 1, 2015 I think). I have experience of this too, having one foot in Egypt myself. One of the interesting things about this in Egypt (and this is true of Egypt generally), is that everyone has an opinion – sometimes two – and everyone acknowledges that you have a right to speak, even if you are totally clueless.

In medicine this means that you may well get a gaggle of doctors who disagree. You need to decide which ones you listen to and which ones you don’t. This is, in fact, a form of participation. Here, the patient is a participant, not simply an object to be acted on. If you don’t like one doctor, you go to another.

Another point is that in Egypt, going to the doctor will not cost you your life savings or your house. Even if you are poor, you have access to reasonable health care and if you cannot afford a particular procedure, friends and relatives usually pull through for you. So, not only can you go to doctors until the cows come home, but you are also allowed to have an opinion about what they’re telling you. Rejecting them is also an option and you will not be a social pariah for choosing an alternate path.

There is a lot of politics here, if you think about it.